We are so pleased to have Kristen Callihan here today to talk about her Darkest London paranormal romance series. The first book in the series, Firelight, was released in January and will be followed by Moonglow on August 1, 2012. Want to know our thoughts on Firelight? You can read Kristie’s review here. We are also featuring this series in our UF/PNR Reading Challenge 2012.
Kristen Callihan is a child of the 80’s, which means she’s worn neon skirts, black-lace gloves, and combat boots (although never all at once) and can quote John Hughes movies with the best of them. A life long daydreamer, she finally realized that the characters in her head needed a proper home and thus hit the keyboard. She believes that falling in love is one of the headiest experiences a person can have, so naturally she writes romance. Her love of superheroes, action movies, and history led her to write historical paranormals. She lives in the Washington D.C. area and, when not writing, looks after two children, one husband, and a dog — the fish can fend for themselves.
Her current novel, FIRELIGHT, a gothic retelling of Beauty and the Beast set along the shadowy lanes of Victorian London, will be published by Grand Central Publishing in February of 2012.
Want to read more from Kristen Callihan?
DFT: Could you start things off by telling us a little about Firelight?
Kristen: You know, I’m pretty terrible at summarizing stories! When I read reviews of Firelight, I’m always envious of the reviewer’s ability to sum up my story so much better than I ever could! Lol.
I usually say that Firelight is a Victorian gothic retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a Jack the Ripper style murder twist. But at its heart, it is the story of two lonely yet strong-willed people who fall in love, despite the fact that everything in their lives tells them that it is a mistake to do so.
DFT: Could you tell us about your main characters in Firelight?
Kristen: The main characters are:
Lord Benjamin Archer, who hides his face behind masks and suffers from a curse of an unknown nature. For years, he has hidden from society while searching for a cure, then he meets Miranda Ellis and he begins to want more. He wants love and acceptance.
Miranda Ellis hides behind the mask of beauty. Forced by her father to steal, she also possesses the power to control fire, which has made her feel unnatural and an outcast.
DFT: What initially gave you the idea for your series?
Kristen: Heh. My daughter was watching Disney’s The Beauty and the Beast. I started thinking what if… what if the beast’s curse was hidden instead? What if that was the mystery? What if the beauty was cursed in her own way? And so it began.
DFT: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
Kristen: I love all my characters, but Archer has the slight advantage. I really empathized with him, and found his struggles heartbreaking.
DFT: Do you have a favorite scene in Firelight?
Kristen: I’m not one for favorites. And my picks change when I read through the book. Sometimes it’s the prologue, when they first meet. Sometimes it’s when Archer realizes that he loves Miranda, and sometimes it will be when he confesses that love. Or sometimes it’s when they finally touch each other!
DFT: Do you have a particular writing process or ritual?
Kristen: My writing process is a bit of a mess, I write what ever scene pops in my head, regardless of where it is in the timeline of the book. After I have done a bunch of scenes, I’ll start to sting them together. It’s also pretty erratic. I’ll write 10k words one day, then nothing for three –those days, I’ll reread what I wrote- then maybe a 1000 words a day for a week.
I don’t have any rituals. Unless you count the need to be in comfortable clothes and not have any shoes on! Lol. I hate writing when I’m all bound up like that.
DFT: Which genre do you prefer Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance? Why?
Kristen: Paranormal Romance has the edge for me. I like to know there will be a relationship resolution at the end of the book. That isn’t to say that I don’t like Urban Fantasy, it’s just that I find myself itching to see the love interest come to completion, and I get that satisfaction faster in PNR. However, what I love about UF is that, with a series, you get a much deep character exploration.
DFT: Do you have a favorite author or series?
Kristen: Naw. I can’t pick one. Can’t do it with movies, or music, or food, lol. I’m cheap that way. I have favorites in every subgenre –because I do read every subgenre in romance.
For PNR, it would be (in no particular order) Larissa Ione, Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook, Kresley Cole, Coleen Gleason, Shana Abe, Eve Silver, Cynthia Eden, Zoe Archer… to name a few. J
DFT: If you weren’t a writer, what would your dream job be?
Kristen: If I had the talent, I’d love to be a singer a la Sinead O’Connor, you know, someone who could really belt it out. That would be lovely.
DFT: Can you tell us anything about your next book, Moonglow, without giving too much away about Firelight?
Moonglow is Miranda’s sister Daisy’s story. Daisy is now widowed –and thus free from her oppressive husband. She wants to enjoy life, and become the person she was before marriage beat her down. Unfortunately, a mad werewolf terrorizing London puts a damper on her plans. Expect more murder, angsty heroes, and two lonely souls finding their other half.
DFT: We want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.
Kristen: Thank you so much for having me! I enjoyed talking to you!
Available on January 31, 2012 from Grand Central Publishing
About the Book:
Once the flames are ignited . . .
Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family’s fortune decimated and forced her to wed London’s most nefarious nobleman.
They will burn for eternity . . .
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it’s selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can’t help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn’t felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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